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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Sexism and the Hillary Monster

You can despise Hillary Clinton because you think she will be too hawkish in her foreign policy or too corporatist in her domestic policy. I have been an unambiguous HRC supporter this whole election who has worries on both of these scores myself. I just don't personally think she was demonstrably more of either of these than Saint Bernie Sanders if one paid attention to pesky things like published positions or, you know, voting records. And I cannot for the life of me see how anybody in their right mind could find in such assessments a comparative justification for a vote for the palpably unhinged, pathologically lying, grotesquely belligerent, horrifically cruel, unapologetically bigoted, worrisomely authoritarian Donald Trump or any enabling of his possible ascension to the most powerful position on earth by sitting out this election. But setting all that aside for the moment -- for those capable of setting aside the Hillary Monster at all and its attendant derangements, which is a different thing from legitimate critiques and discomforts -- it does seems that a person of the barest feminist conviction or even basic fair-mindedness will admit and abhor the flabbergasting and infuriating extent to which the HRC mythos as "unlikable" and "untrustworthy" has been shaped by assumptions and frames that are unambiguously sexist.


jimf said...

> [I]t does seems that a person of the barest feminist conviction
> or even basic fair-mindedness will admit and abhor the flabbergasting
> and infuriating extent to which the HRC mythos as "unlikable"
> and "untrustworthy" has been shaped by assumptions and frames
> that are unambiguously sexist.

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women
John Knox (1558)

. . .

To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or
empire above any realm, nation, or city, is repugnant to nature;
contumely to God, a thing most contrarious to his revealed will
and approved ordinance. And finally, it is the subversion of good order,
of all equity and justice. . .

For who can deny but it is repugnant to nature, that the blind shall
be appointed to lead and conduct such as do see? That the weak,
the sick, and impotent persons shall nourish and keep the whole and strong?
And finally, that the foolish, mad, and frenetic shall govern the discreet,
and give counsel to such as be sober of mind?

And such be all women, compared unto man in bearing of authority.
For their sight in civil regiment is but blindness; their strength,
weakness; their counsel, foolishness; and judgment, frenzy,
if it be rightly considered.

jimf said...

From a lesser newspaper. (When the bagel shop where I have breakfast
doesn't have the _New York Times_, I'm forced to step down to
_The Record_ ["North Jersey's Trusted Source"], or even -- gasp! --
the _New York Post_.)

Difficult week may cost Trump the swing states
by Noah Bierman and Nigel Duara
Tribune News Service

Ashburn, VA -- Debora Matthews, a 64-year-old Republican,
loaded plastic grocery bags into her sport utility vehicle. . .
Matthews shook her head in disgust at the campaign,
unable to help her 18-year-old daughter figure out whom
to vote for, and considering a Democrat for the first
time in her own life.

"His mouth is digging a hole for himself that he's falling
into," Matthews said of Trump. . .

Trump may be losing a chance to close the deal or make
gains with those who are less committed during a crucial
phase of the campaign. . .

Trump's battle is hardly lost, though. There are voters who
dislike Clinton and say they could never bring themselves
to choose her.

And even as Trump reopened fissures with top elected
Republicans this week, his bond with disaffected voters
has proved more resilient. . .

"Stubborn bastards get things done, and we need things
done," said Brad O'Neill, 52, of Phoenix. . .

"I've come to expect these things from Trump," said Carrington
Gupte, 25, of Phoenix. "He's a loose cannon; he suspects
everyone is a fraud and everything is rigged. While I don't
support his statements about the Khan family, it does not
affect my view of him as a presidential candidate.". . .

Clinton takes 15-point lead in latest poll
by David Lightman and Lesley Clark
Tribune News Service

Washington -- . . .Hillary Clinton has surged to a 15-point
lead over reeling, gaffe-plagued Republican Donald Trump,
according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. . .

Trump, who gleefully cited polls at campaign events as he
swept the Republican primaries, has lately questioned
polling. . . "I think these polls -- I don't know -- there's
something about these polls, something phony." . . .

Most of Trump's backers -- 57 percent -- say their vote is
against Clinton, while only 36 percent called it a pro-Trump

Wayne Jones, a Canton, Ohio retiree, says he's voting for Trump,
but is not particularly a fan and doesn't believe Trump
actually wants to become president.

"This is the biggest scam ever pulled in an election," the
independent voter said. "No one with his education, his
smarts, would go out and shoot himself in the foot every day
if he wanted to be president."

jimf said...

More from "North Jersey's Trusted Source".

GOP: Forget about reining in Trump
by Albert Hunt

The Republican leaders now imploring Donald Trump to avoid
"distractions" are wasting their time. These aren't
distractions. These are the real Trump.

It's not in his DNA to back down, whether it's from demeaning
the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq or from lying
about his mockery of a disabled reporter. Instead,. . . [he]
doubles down when caught in mistakes or outright lies. . .

Most politicians exaggerate; a number selectively lie.
Trump is of a different order. . . calculating that his
political opponents will move on and that his voters
will side with him over a "dishonest press" no matter
what. . .

Trump's greatest stumbling block: his character
by Charles Krauthammer

. . .Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it
alienates a vital constituency, but because it reveals a
shocking absence of elementary decency and of natural empathy
for the most profound of human sorrows: parental grief.

Why did Trump do it? It wasn't a mistake. It was a revelation.
It's that he can't help himself. His governing rule in life
is to strike back when attacked, disrespected, or even slighted.
To understand Trump, you have to grasp the General Theory:
He judges every action, every pronouncement, every person by
a single criterion -- whether or not it/he is "nice" to Trump.

Vladimir Putin called him brilliant (in fact, he didn't. . .)
and a bromance is born. A "Mexican" judge rules against Trump,
which makes him a bad person governed by prejudiced racial
instincts. . .

You're a fan of his, he's a fan of yours, and vice versa. . .
Trump's hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian
responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and

This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an
11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about
10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger
for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied.
He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside
himself has value -- indeed exists -- only insofar as it sustains
and inflates him. . .

Trump's greatest success -- normalizing the abnormal -- is beginning
to dissipate. . .

I've never been a political junkie, but this presidential election
is certainly the most **entertaining** one I've experienced in
my entire life.

Let's hope Trump keeps being Trump. Not just for the entertainment
value, of course, but because it might just -- just possibly --
have a non-negligible influence on the future of the human race. ;->

jimf said...

Watch out for that N word.
For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once
easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,”
said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor
at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed
clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. . .

That mental-health professionals are even willing to talk about Trump
in the first place may attest to their deep concern about a Trump
presidency. As Dr. Robert Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry and
the director of the master’s of bioethics program at Columbia University,
pointed out, the American Psychiatric Association declares it unethical
for psychiatrists to comment on an individual’s mental state without
examining him personally and having the patient’s consent to make
such comments. This so-called Goldwater rule arose after the publication
of a 1964 Fact magazine article in which psychiatrists were polled
about Senator Barry Goldwater’s fitness to be president. Senator Goldwater
brought a $2 million suit against the magazine and its publisher;
the Supreme Court awarded him $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000
in punitive damages.

But you don’t need to have met Donald Trump to feel like you know him;
even the smallest exposure can make you feel like you’ve just crossed
a large body of water in a small boat with him. . .

“He’s very easy to diagnose,” said psychotherapist Charlotte Prozan.
“In the first debate, he talked over people and was domineering.
He’ll do anything to demean others, like tell Carly Fiorina he
doesn’t like her looks. ‘You’re fired!’ would certainly come
under lack of empathy. . ." . . .

But for at least one mental-health professional, the Trump enigma,
or should we say non-enigma, is larger than the bluster of the man
whose own Web site calls him “the very definition of the American
success story, continually setting the standards of excellence” --
to this mind-set, Trump may be a kind of bellwether. Mr. Gardner
said, “For me, the compelling question is the psychological state
of his supporters. They are unable or unwilling to make a connection
between the challenges faced by any president and the knowledge and
behavior of Donald Trump. In a democracy, that is disastrous.”

Ah yes, "the compelling question. . . [of] the psychological state
of his supporters".
Narcissists are aided, abetted and facilitated by four types
of people and institutions: the adulators, the blissfully ignorant,
the self-deceiving and those deceived by the narcissist. . .

-- Sam Vaknin, "Facilitating Narcissism"
(and cf. )